By GYNNIE KERO
A 10-MINUTE show featuring local cultural groups to open the FIFA women’s soccer World Cup on Sunday in Port Moresby cost more than K400,000 – but reportedly watched by 600 million viewers around the world, a National Cultural Commission official said.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tobias Kulang told The National yesterday that a big chunk of the money covered allowances for the performers and the stage crew, costume preparation and hire, and the sound system.
“We could have saved costs if we were given enough time to prepare. Because of very short notice, we had to make some sacrifices,” he said.
“It cost well over K400, 000 to stage the show. The production was by staff of the NCC led by David Taim and assisted by John Dua, director of the National Performing Arts Troupe from Goroka and Martin Tony, a specialist in the industry.”
The opening was attended by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Sports and Events Minister Justin Tkatchenko, Fifa vice-president David Chung and Fifa secretary-general Fatma Samba Diouf.
NCC executive director Casper Damien said the 10-minute show made all Papua New Guineans proud “because we showed our cultural diversity to the 600 million viewers” around the world.
Damien said it took them five weeks to prepare for the 10-minute show.
“It was good to see the people involved in the production and delivered within 10 minutes,” he said.
“It’s a one-off international event and Papua New Guinea is fortunate to host it,”
Cultural groups which took part included Kairuku Waima, Kuman Cultural Group, Mahi Cultural Group, Pori PRK Group Dancers, Siassi Traditional Dancers, Tonsu Cultural Group and the Senemai Cultural Group.
“There were 456 performers including 150 school students, 85 adult performers, 15 children, 50 musicians and 36 stage crew,” Damien said.
O’Neill said he was glad that the opening matches have started well and thanked the people cheering on the teams.
“In a world of uncertainty, sport is the great unifier,” O’Neill said.
“These young women are coming from around the world, from 15 countries, to compete in our country at the highest level for their age.
“Papua New Guineans will show them the greatest hospitality possible and see that they return home with great memories.
“I wish our girls the best of luck as they compete on the world stage, and I wish every athlete that has come from the visiting countries every success and the best competition.
“Last year we hosted the Pacific Games, this year we host Fifa, next year the Rugby League World Cup, in 2018 we will host Apec and we are in discussion to be nominated to host the Commonwealth Games.”
By GYNNIE KERO